The Four Eccentrics

by Tim Wolfe and Caleb Wilson as Mild Cat Bean profile

Surrealist exploration

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Number of Ratings: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fabulous dreamscape with bugs, December 27, 2019
by Stian
Related reviews: IFComp 2019

Surrealism and dreamscapes is something that interactive fiction, a medium where anything that can be expressed in words can be experienced, is particularly suited for. In The Four Eccentrics, you literally dive right into a very peculiar dream. Already the opening landscape, a park filled with globes containing other dreams, sparks the imagination in ways that visual media cannot. From there, the game opens up to a fabulous world of wonders and strangeness.

In a dreamscape such as this, thereís always a danger that navigation becomes an issue of some difficulty; if diamonds are food and words are currency, how do you even begin to guess the verb? The Four Eccentrics handles this very well, and although you can do several unorthodox things in its dream, most of them come rather natural.

In a way, the basics of the story, your mission in the game, is an archetypical one, which makes it easier to find your way forward and finally reach the conclusion. I liked this contrast. Two other surrealistic games I have enjoyed are Shade and Sub Rosa. The Four Eccentrics is very different from either of these, though somewhat closer to the latter. In particular, more things are clear, much thanks to the world being populated by several NPCs to assist you on your way.

To be honest, there is room for plenty of polish for The Four Eccentrics to become a truly enjoyable experience; Iíve seen descriptions coming before they should and others that linger on until the end, objects that are both there and not (but not in a dreamy way), and at least one case of serious disambiguation problems. Still, it was a very enjoyable game, and it certainly has the potential of becoming a classic.

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), October 30, 2019

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A surreal dream game with dream logic, October 4, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This is a lengthy game that has you surviving a fall in a dream, and wandering around the dream landscape.

I love the whimsical setting here, and its very imaginative, especially the whole cloth situation in the market.

The game uses dream logic, though, and I soon turned to the walkthrough and became baffled by the suggested actions. Errors litter the game as well, such as the game saying you have a smock when you don't get it later.

This is a game that needs more polish. Having experienced beta testers run through it over a few months would have helped a lot.

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